Selling Ice Coolers to Eskimos Using Creativity (The Ultimate Selling Skill)

This lesson (from TEDxSedona) is about an important skill for succeeding in business and life, the ability to convince (not manipulate) people.

It sounds impossible, but when you finish this lesson, you will be able to convince Eskimos to buy ice coolers, and you will wonder how Eskimos can survive without ice coolers.

You will use a powerful creativity technique called mind mapping (which is like brainstorming on steroids) to find four legitimate reasons an Eskimo would want to purchase an ice cooler.

The mind mapping process (first step) starts with a topic (our first topic) in the center of a blank sheet of white paper, and in this example our first topic is “Eskimos.”

Eskimo Mind Map Start

The second  step is when you look at the word “Eskimos,” what thoughts come to mind.

Suspend your judgement, and the only rule is “no rules,” and anything goes, like free association or a Rorschach test. My first thought was “Igloo.”

The third step is to look at the word “Igloo,” and repeat the process of forming connections, and writing down thoughts.

Again, “no rules,” go crazy, and free associate and write down all ideas that come to your mind related to “Igloos.”

Write as many ideas as possible related to “Igloos,” and because of limited space (we need a bigger paper), I only listed two, “snow” and “cold butt” (feel their pain).

The fourth and final step of this mind map is to go back and free associate on the word “Eskimos.”

Go crazy, no rules, and write as many ideas related to Eskimos, then expand each of those ideas.

Keep doing this until you run out of paper (or get a bigger paper), or cannot stand it any more.

Next  you repeat this mind mapping process for the topic of “Ice Coolers,” following the rule that there are “no rules.”

Let your mind run wild and write all the thoughts that you have related to ice coolers, then expand each of those thoughts until you run out of ideas.

The final step to selling ice coolers to Eskimos is to look back and forth between the two mind maps that you have created, and you look for connections between the circles.

You look for things about the Eskimos that connect to things about ice coolers.

For example, the connection between “Frozen” food on the Eskimo map and “Keeps Warm” on the Ice Cooler map leads you to an ice cooler keeps an Eskimo’s food from freezing solid (in the 50 below temperatures).

Next, the connection between “Frozen” water on the Eskimo map and “Keeps Warm” on the Ice Cooler map leads you to an ice cooler keeps an Eskimo’s water from freezing solid (in the 50 below temperatures).

The connection between “Polar Bears” on the Eskimo map and “Seals in Smells” on the Ice Cooler map leads you to an ice cooler contains the smell of an Eskimo’s food (smelly fish), and therefore stops polar bears from being attracted (guess who is coming to dinner) to Eskimos.

curtisp@creativity-workshops.com

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